Monday, January 23, 2012

I Love You to the Moon...and Back - Boys (or Anyone) Valentine Art

This started out as a project I was going to do anyway, but then realized it could make a great Valentine's gift for those hard-to-craft for boys, husbands, or otherwise awesomely nerdy people you love.

Even more so if they happen to be familiar with Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney.
Little Brother remembered the book as soon as I told him what the frame said.

...and it's SO EASY to put together.

And now our Valentine's Mantel looks like this (since Firecracker is letting us use her's for a bit before hanging it in her room.)
(You can find the tutorial for the Melted Crayon LOVE tiles here and the Twig Valentine Tree here.)

 Those who follow my Pinterest boards might have noticed I pin some weird things.  Part of me wishes that there was a way to have some private boards, so I could pin things for upcoming projects that might not make sense to other people...besides a way to share lovely ideas, it's also how I save a link so I can make sure to reference it in a future post.  For instance, a while ago, I pinned this necklace to my "For Boys" board because I thought it would make a great message for something to go in Little Brother's increasingly space themed room.  (And half the stuff I pin to my "For Boys" board is really intended for my daughters...but that's my own fault for the way I categorize things.)

Anyway, since Firecracker asked for a space-themed birthday party, I figured it was a good time to try out some ideas.  Then I realized this would make a perfect Valentine's gift for a space or science loving boy (or girl) in your life.

I had three prints for Firecracker (since it was her birthday),

one for Little Brother (since he's getting the spacey room),

...and one extra in case I messed up...and since I didn't mess up badly Hubby will get this for his office at school.

So there are three slightly different versions to inspire you.

Since I already had the frames on hand (either picked up at Goodwill a while ago for $2-3) or hand-me-downs from my mom, all I had to pay for were the prints and the silver paint pen.  I could have printed them off at home, but I hated to think of all the black ink it would take, so I opted to take take them to Staples to have them printed.

Here's what you need to do to make your own:
  • Print of the moon
  • Frame with or without a mat
  • Silver Paint Pen
I did a Google Image search for large moon photos.  The moon image I used came from this site. (You'll need to follow that link and then click on the picture where it says "My best moon photograph" for the large version.)  I also found some neat images here and here that would be large enough to print.  As far as I could tell it was okay to use images from these sites for personal use.  I used Photoshop to crop the picture to an 8x10 size and took it to Staples.  If you don't have Photoshop, don't can also crop images in Word or many other programs.  I ended up having them print it on pearlized cardstock so that the white parts would be a little shiny...but it had to go through their color copier.  They ended up costing $1.39 each + tax.

I really like the black frames.  I'm not super happy with the frame that has the mat...I like having a mat, I just wish the frame and mat were more black/grey tones, but that was what I had in my garage and I figure I can re-frame it later.

Here's what I did:
You could totally do the writing free-hand...but I was afraid I would mess up.   Instead, for the print with the writing on the print itself, I printed out the words on regular computer paper.  (I used "Rage Italic" for the font.)

Then I laid the text over the print where I wanted it to go, and wrote over the computer paper with the ball point pen.  

This left a slight impression on the print itself that I could trace over with the paint pen. 

Then I just cut around the edge and framed it.

For the others, I thought I'd try putting the text on the frame itself, since they were black.  Tracing the text with a ballpoint pen didn't leave an imprint, so instead I did some old school transferring.  I remember using this for things back in elementary school.  I scribbled with a pencil on the back of the paper...

  ...lined the text up on the frame where I wanted it, and traced over it with a pencil.  

The scribbling on the back will then leave a faint pencil line on your frame.

Trace over it with your paint pen...and that's it.

For the last and final frame, I decided to wing it and just use my own handwriting.  It turned out pretty even...if not as scripty looking. 

I think my favorite is the one where I wrote on the frame with the script font.  I also love how it looks with Little Brother's other spacey artwork in his room.

The solar system print just arrived a couple days ago from nJoy Art...

...along with the sweet surprise of the two extra smaller prints, so they all got framed and hung up at the same time.

These same pieces are no longer listed in her shop, but Nicola of nJoy Art still has this Flying Saucer Painting available as well as some friendly monster paintings, robot paintings, and transportation paintings.  (And there are lots of girl and grown-up themed paintings as well.
If you REALLY want a solar system painting from nJoy Art though, she loves commissioned pieces, so she could probably paint you a new one.

Little Brother's room is really starting to look out of this world...if only he had an actual bed.  (The story on that is that we were looking for the right bed...and then decided to have our new house designed so he'll have a loft bed built right into his closet, so now we're not buying a bed now and he'll have a totally awesome bed in a few months.)

But for now he is completely happy with his quilt and new pictures for his walls.

And in case you're wondering about that amazing felt was a present from Grandma Kathy for Christmas, and she got the idea from Pink and Green Mama here.

And I promise the details and pattern about his solar system quilt are coming soon...very soon. are posted here.
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Please show my sponsors some love...
Rocket Ship Original Painting from nJoy Art
Faith in God Makes Me Stronger from Shirleen Bland's Art Studio
Carpe Noctem Necklace from Boutique Academia


  1. what a wonderful idea! Your mantle looks fantastic! beautiful!

  2. Oh and that quilt! beautiful (I meant to say that before) I'm a quilter myself... and I absolutely love it.

  3. What a great idea! I may have to think of a way to do something in baby L's room :)

  4. Wow. The Valentine's mantle is very impressive. So much better than store-bought cutout hearts. And Little Brother's room is so very, very cool. What a lucky family!

  5. Oh, I love this!! I read this book to my kiddos all the time. And we all say this to each other. It is so hard to find great crafts for boys. My oldest son would love this.

  6. What a great idea! I absolutely love that book! Thanks so much for linking up to Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings.

  7. Oh my goodness, the moon frame is awesome!! And I love that quilt! I am not a quilter, but looking at that photo makes me want to become one. I am going to use your moon idea for the kids' room. We really like that book, and this project is going to look great on the wall, right next to their Andromeda Galaxy and Pleiades posters. :-)

  8. The moon print looks so amazing with the other outer space prints you had done!

  9. What a CUTE idea!! I have always loved that book. I love the outer space themed room! :) Thanks so much for linking up to Sassy Sites for our free for all party. Be sure to join us tomorrow morning for some shout outs! Have a wonderful weekend!


  10. Love this idea for a non-'traditional' (ya know pink and hearts ;)) Valentine gift! Good Job! We have 'Guess How Much I Love You' on our reading shelves right now ;-)

  11. I love your moon print! JDaniel loves space right now. He would love this room. We found a night light that projects the planets onto his ceiling at night. He loves it.

  12. We say this at our house all the time and I love how you included the moon! My son loves anything and everything about outer space. He would die over that cool room!:)

  13. Great tutorial. I really like the entire look of the moon, frame, and writing...and I am not even "awesomely nerdy". :-)

  14. awww love it!!!!

    Stopping by from TT & J and would LOVE for you to come by and link this up (and any other project) at my “Create and Inspire” Party!
    Thanks so much!
    P.S. New follower
    Angie from A Little Inspiration

  15. I think it's absolutely precious! I love reading that book to my son! He might need one of these reminders of how much momma loves him!

  16. That is so darn cute. I always struggle with boy presents but this one is darling, and boy-ish enough that the little guys in the family might like it :) Thanks!

  17. This is really cute, I would love it if you shared this here:

  18. I absolute love that book "Guess How Much I Love You." Your project turned out so great... Perfect for Valentines. Would really love it if you could share this here

    Thanks so much and Have a great day,


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